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Career Profile: Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor

Career Profile: Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor

Barry Weidner, B.A., Fitness Instructor, Recreation and Welfare Fitness Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

I chose this career because…

I chose to become an fitness instructor because I’ve always liked physical activity and sports. I started exercising and working out in the gym when I was 12 years old. My older brother was my inspiration, and he taught me a lot about fitness and sports. Ever since then, I’ve had a passion for fitness. You only have one body, and it is great to build it up and set and achieve goals for yourself.

• Bachelor of Arts, Health Promotion Management, Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia
• Bachelor of Arts, Communications, Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia

My typical workday involves…

My typical workday revolves around performing my major tasks, which are:

• Training people: creating exercise and strength-training programs for individuals. This includes providing motivation and teaching a variety of exercises for each muscle group. I find that a variety of exercises is the key to keeping training fun, and that’s why people come back to me. My training days are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I usually train two to three people per day for 1 hour each.

• Teaching classes: facilitating group exercise using the large stability-exercise balls. I teach two 1-hour classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

• Administering the center: signing up new members, orienting new members to the gym and the equipment, responding to members’ questions and giving them advice, and preparing bulletin board displays with fitness articles, information, and a variety of exercises, including an Exercise of the Month.

• Reading current fitness and health articles to stay up-to-date and increase my knowledge.

What I like best and least about my work is…

What I like best about my work is being physically active and interacting with other people. There is a lot of variety in my day. I’m always moving around doing different things. I couldn’t stand the idea of sitting behind a desk all day.

What I like least about my work is the inconsistency of clientele available to work with on a one-on-one basis. Sometimes I have a lot of people to train, and other times it’s just the opposite.

My career goals are…

My career goals include owning my own fitness center, most likely with my brother. I would create a new style of fitness training that focuses on individuals, including their fitness goals and achievements. I am not an advocate of the commercial industry because I believe most of the commercial fitness companies are more concerned with financial gain than with people’s fitness goals.

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